DIY Life - Turning 32 and my New Adventures
Today is my birthday, and I am turning or have just turned 32. It is a somber and joyful birthday, as I am turning over a new leaf in my 33rd year of life. Have you ever come to a crossroads in your life where you had to make a hard decision? We had a lot of aha moments in the last few months in regards to our relationships, our money, our family, our careers, and our choices. It has actually all been a little overwhelming as is any significant change in one's person or persons.
As I live the first day in my 33rd year of life, I thought I would share some of my revelations and our upcoming year. As it has all changed AGAIN!
I am calling this phase of my life my DIY'r period!! I know many of you hate this term, I actually don't think it is very appealing either; however, it is the best description of what I am moving towards. Another name I have thought of calling this phase of my life is my gypsy phase...but I am not sure I am fully embracing being gypsy as I type on my Macbook Pro...hmmm, how many gypsies owned Macbooks??? Anyone?
Maybe you can help me better categorize this free-spirited phase of my life a little better than I can. All I do know is that I am so excited for this year and equally anxious. I think anytime you take on a significant life change it is scary and it brings your inner fears and insecurities to the surface. I will share how I am dealing with those in another post.
What is changing????
So enough fluff about how I feel about the change, what is the difference??????? How am I turning over a new leaf and living this 33rd year of my life different??? How am I DIY'ing my life?
Hiring a Production Manager
I have decided to hire someone to help us with MPCTutorials.com as it is now becoming an actual business (i.e., we are making some money) and Zeek doesn't have the time to work on it. Our new addition will relieve some stress from me on the things I don't do well and allow me to focus on the things I do well. The idea is that this will help MPCTutorials continue to grow and expand over time.
It is exciting to bring on another person, and I am more excited to see if it relieves some of my stress while improving the business.
Releasing my first ebook
Yay!!! I am excited to say that with the help of Ebook Design Works I am successfully self-publishing my first ebook. The title is The Essential Packing List for Traveling to China. I am so excited to be releasing my first ebook, and it is something that I have been working on for some time. Ebook Design Works made it beautiful, and they were so easy to work with. They helped make me an official author! I have tons of other book ideas about our travels, our experiences, and our kids' craziness.
Mexican Salsa Udemy Course
I am almost finished with my Mexican Salsa Udemy Course, and it will be for sale at Udemy.com, don't worry if you follow me here I will be telling you all about it in a month or so, once I get through all this editing. It is a video course on how to make 10 Authentic Salsas. I can't wait!!! We have been eating a lot of salsa around here lately.
By the way editing videos is not as easy as it looks, or that I thought it was.
Starting a new business in January!!!!!
Yes, we are beginning a new business in January. This is on the down low, well maybe not so much as I just publicly posted it on the internet. Both Zeek and I are very excited about it. We believe it will roughly take us a year to roll everything out. Remember we have jobs, kids, travel, and about a billion other things we are doing at the same time. With all of that in mind, we feel good about giving ourselves a year to plan and roll out our new business.
Part of DIY'ing is understanding your current life and setting realistic expectations of yourself. Sometimes I am great at this and other times not so much. I am working on setting real-life expectations for myself and being a bit more patient with my abilities. I have to keep working on that. :)
We have officially decided to become road-schoolers!!! It is basically a fancy word for homeschoolers on the road. We have registered our little 6 yr old as a homeschooler!! Obviously our energetic 3 yr old will have his own curriculum to follow along with his big sister, but we don't officially have to do anything for him since he is three.
If you interested in finding out more about our decisions in Road Schooling, please read more here.
We are moving to Europe and Turkey for 6 months!!!
Yes, yes I know before you roll your eyes at my ability to change plans every 24 hours, please understand that the airplane tickets have been purchased. We land in Germany in mid-January and will travel around Europe for three months (as our visa allows) and then head to Turkey in April!!!
What the hell happened, you might be asking??? Well, a few things.
Since we decided and embraced our new homeschooling/road schooling decision, we realized we didn't have to worry about enrolling the kids in school or staying in one place for our children's education. So now where would we want to go?
We also have to leave Mexico in February because our visa runs up here. Please note a quick visa run to Belize would have also done the trick.
We then planned on going to Guatemala and staying in tree houses. Next, we started thinking about Europe and how different that would be from South East Asia and Latin America. We haven't done a lot of traveling in Europe. We went to Italy a few years back on a magical vacation with my mom and sister. I fell in love with Italy, the food, the language, and well the food. If you have been to the Amalfi coast, then you know why food counts twice. Finally!! I found tickets to Germany from Cancun for the SAME price as it would cost us to go to Guatemala. What????!!!!
Here is how I found those cheap tickets.
Yes, I used a website called Skyscanner. You enter your origin city and leave your destination blank and click search. This gives you an idea of what it would cost to fly to multiple destinations around the world from your origin. It is awesome. Next, you select a destination that fits within your price range. Once you get to that page, you can choose that your days are flexible and a whole month of prices pops up and lets you choose which day you would like to fly based on price.
So, for example, if we wanted to fly to Paris in January, it would have cost us over USD 1,000 per person. However, I bought tickets to fly to Munich for only $300 per person!!! When in Europe there are a few low-cost airlines, and we can fly from Munich to Paris for roughly $50.00 per person. So my $1,000 ticket turned into a $350.00 card a total savings of $650.00 a person. We have four people in our family, so we saved a total of $2,600!!! There was way too much math in that paragraph, but hopefully, you are still with me. If you have more questions, leave a comment below.
This is my life...a little monkey boy hanging on something all the time.
Long story short, it only cost the four of us $1400 to get to Germany!!!
What are we doing in Europe? Wait, isn't it snowing in Germany in January?
So to answer your first question....we aren't sure yet. The second question, yes it is snowing in Germany in January. We know we don't want to travel too fast, and still need to work and have school, so we are thinking one month in Germany, and we don't know after that. Any suggestions, please let me know. On our short list are Florence, Seville, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Rome. We can only stay in the EU for 90 days because of the Schengen visa regulations.
Then Turkey!! So excited.
Then we will go to Turkey! Zeek and I have been wanting to visit Turkey for about 8 yrs. It has been on our must-do list for a long time. We obviously will spend some time in Istanbul; however it is expensive there, so we aren't sure how long we will stay or where we will head after that.
Any suggestions or places or people we should visit we would love to hear from you!
Back to the states in July
Because my mother is a bit obsessed with the fourth of July and our daughter misses her best friend terribly, we will be heading back to South Carolina in July to sip some PBR and have a good old fashion BBQ. We are excited about getting back to the states and relaxing a bit. It is lovely to have a family that you can always come home to. I know we appreciate it and the kids love their room at their Nonna's house. It is their base.
We will also be making our way up to Wisconsin to attend Zeek's best friends wedding (I am already tempted to buy a dress), and we wait to catch up with family, visit friends, and maybe meet some new people too.
If you are wondering what next, well keep wondering. :) We don't know. We will figure it out when we get there...or close to there.
Am I doing this alone?
First I have to say that in NO way do I do this all myself or am I inventing the wheel here. I have to give credit to my supportive momma who has a beautiful base for my kids and travels the globe to visit us. I am blessed with a beautiful, loving and supportive husband who shares this dream with me, and works just as hard, maybe even harder some days to keep it going. I have a fabulous sister who is taking care of our dog Fang while we on this adventure and spoils my kids every chance she gets. I also have wonderful friends and family members who throw impromptu birthday parties on a moments notice when we arrive, and it means everything to us and our children. I have nieces and nephews that visit us when we come into town and greet us with hugs and kisses.
Then I have also met some fantastic mentors online that have helped me navigate, research, and let me pick their brain on what to do or not do in this nomadic DIY lifestyle. Surprisingly there are thousands of families out there doing even crazier things than us.
I know right...who knew? They are an inspiration and give us the encouragement that we can do this. I have had the chance to connect with them via blogs, social media, and fabulous Facebook groups where complete strangers answer my crazy questions and share their experiences. I like learning from experiences, not CNN headlines.
Why a DIY year?
This is my DIY year because a lot of my projects will make us more location independent. I want to focus on working on more independent income streams, a successful road schooling curriculum and schedule, as well as traveling and visiting locations based on our interests and desires.
Before we traveled more for opportunities. Now I want to take it to the next level, maybe this is our version 2.0. Our kids are getting older, and we worry less and less about Abe dashing into traffic at a moments notice. Hopefully, with these new freedoms, we can start checking off things on our and our kids' bucket lists. Yes, Lupita and Abe have bucket lists. However, Abe is really set on turning us all into cho-cho trains at the moment, and we aren't sure exactly how to accomplish that one.
If you are still reading, then I would love to hear what have you DIY'd lately. Maybe it is a garden, getting healthy, a new hairstyle, a business, or a writing a book.
Cheers to a happy 32!!